tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN July 4, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EDT
where. in the period of 1997 to the current time, there were complaints from employees this started to surface in the 200 9d directly to us. this was a 1998 review of the 1997 assessment done by the military district of washington inspector general. they want back in and covered the areas of the 1996-1997 time frame there was some action. apparently not the right answer. are there remains?
is appropriate. we with notify next kin. we have not had to deal with that as of yet. >> thank you. >> thank you both for being here today. we pressure service. i have to begin by saying that i was deeply disappointed when i read in the "washington post" that those headstones were found in a river bed on the cemetery's grounds. when i saw the photo that accompanied the article, i was particularly upset that there was a name on one of these headston headstones. that hit home.
what happens is that the headstone is ground and disposed of in an appropriate manner. >> is we don't know how this happened at this point? >> it seems that this was an accepted practice throughout all government agencies that if you encounter excesssheadstones. i can't justify that. it was an acceptable policy, i find it hard how anyone could develop that as acceptable policy but it was accepted
>> two more quick points. it's been quite some time, in america, we have brought people around to being appreciative of how we see our troops. we have been making a long, slow come back on that front. i'm concern that had what we've seen happen with these headstones is a real problem that doesn't reflect well.
i think a lot of the american people will have concerns about this. i look forward to working with both of you to the extent we can did -- we can do that. one comment on the garden reserve. these look at that report. we have 2900 iowa reserves that will be deployed to after the discussion to afghanistan. >> thank you, there's no
and the army auditing agency. those materials in the audit trail will be shared with cid as are all the ig reports to try to make determinations if there is sufficient evidence to proceed in any way against anyone in a criminal manner. as noted, from is identifiable material as to how much was spent for millions of dollars and the mur pursuit.
if i may -- also -- i stated that we are not just stopping at arlington. there are people that will comply. we have to ache >> the administration runs many different national cemeteries. these other cemeteries have not had such problems that have been uncovered at arlington. do you see the benefit of bringing arlington under the
veterans administration? >> i have the highest regard for the secretary. he's been enormously supportive in the efforts to try to rectify the situation. they run a substantial network of cemeteries and do a fine job as well. there are other agencies that run cemeteries as well. i think all of the agencies have their particular challenges.
whistleblower was opened in october 2008. that goes directly to dod. we receive the final results late last night. >> would the gentleman from arkansas wish to inquire? >> i sent a letter several months ago. others got it last night. i asked about it and he said he hadn't had time to read it. i understand how busy we are but you are inspecting a report
involving a whistleblower issue. why couldn't you have maedz -- made time to row view the document? >> i did row view it. >> you said you vent youred a combhome comment. is it seems you were not the committee's questions. i pressure clarification. >> thank you gentleman. mr. janes. i share the outrage you express as well as the feelings of great
empathy for the families of our fallen soldiers who are buried at arlington national cemetery as well as their loved ones and spou spouses. this serves as more than an monument to our national heroes. i want to focus on the work force and the investigative report. speaking to the fact that an unhealthy work environment exists and has existed at
>> is it still a problem out there where black folks feel like they are being treated badly and differently from other employees? are this any black folks other than the assistant supervisor at the cemetery? >> sir, there are both a mix of races at arlington but the comments and allegations were not one race. it worked both ways. comments against whites and
large. i guess there's two things we should focus on. number one is to figure out what happened not so much to bring blame if it sounds like, in terms of the structure, that that seems to have filtered down at the base of what happened here that we are all concerned about. what has been done to restructure things? give me the one on one on what
has been done. >> thank you. i've taken several steps and don't preclude taking others. the first was to rescind general or the 13. that was the governing structure that in my view did just about everything but govern. i redirected the lines of authority and created a clearer command structure at the top in terms of cemetery operations.
i appreciate your serious attention. >> the funding is appropriated separately down in the appropriations act. so it's not a d. o. d. appropriation? >> exactly. >> does that preclude the army from using funds to operate? >> yes. what legislative assistance do you need to provide a remedy. is that the issue or is it something else?
subcommittee. we'll come back to the plan on that. >> you spoke earlier about the stress on the budget. i wonder where this would fit into the many challenges that your budget faces as well as othe others. as i mentioned earlier, the carrying of the fallen to their final resting place is important to us.
the financial support has remained relatively stagnant. nothing in this report states anything than that they are doing an outstanding job. they have kept the good face of arlington to the families of these fallen heroes. >> i noticed that they are scheduling 135 to 150 funerals a week. is there a concern expressed?
it says, you were right to give a tension to what is done you about left what is undone. i wanted to express my concern and make a statement to all of the servicemen and their families that this really is important. thank you for your attention, both of you. >> thank you to the gentleman. >> thank you. i know the time is limited. i really wanted to yield any
used show that complaints go back almost 20 years. i don't know who was being protected during that time. clearly someone wasn't paying attention. i know you gentleman are trying to resolve that situation. the policies were obviously faili failing. there was a lack of inspection of what was really going on. when i was in the private
that the families have direct access to the highest level. and i am making sure that the call center is opened for them to call in. we have had a discussion. we would like to move complaints to the highest level, not to the off level. as happens in every major military academy, boards of over sight are there to put an extra pair of eyes on different
issues. it's equally important to let them know that they are not going to get lost at the third or fourth level. >> i have one another comment. after reading some of the reports of the insight going on and the length of time, i can't figure out why someone didn't do something about that then. why did it take so long to make the personnel changes we need. was the policy so protective of these employees? >> i don't think anyone nude
i want you to know that i appreciate that. you too, general. let $move forward. it's extremely unfortunate. it maces me feel bad. it's extremely important as it was for those of us who served a command role to contact loved ones. carry through. i know you will. i want to work with you as i'm sure everybody here does. thank you. >> thank you, very much. >> we are going to do as quickly as we can. quickly. >> thaufshg. thank you.
earlier, the oversight was discussed. i am thankful. my uncle -- my father's twin is buried. i believe we can get this right under your leadership. >> the sfeks teement this might result in different levels of maintenance and management, et cetera. we have created through the position of single authority. the primary operations will be to oversee at arlington.
to be quick, appreciate the efforts certainly. your efforts in getting to the bottom of this and going forward in a positive way only show respect. it is appreciated. we know you care and are going to get it right. yield back. >> thank you. as we go about restructuring, what efforts are made to preach out in include them. there is a regular way to communicate and make sure concerns are being addressed. >> family members, as they have
opportunity. >> it is icon yik. if disrespect and dishonor can tur at arlington, it can occur at any cemetery. there are reports of findings at a non-military secretary. . i look across the nation and find some real issues across the nation. specifically in response to this, i can do some legislation
that sets forth minimum standards and guidelines. this bill is, in your words, baselines of assurances. i like your words. those guidelines and rules will be written by the federal trade commission and enforced requiring all the entities to maintain courage of the date and location and make that information availability to the consumers. by applying the laws across the nation, whether buried or
cremated and regardless of religion, they are buried and that namlies can be assured of how their loved ones are being held. you may not be familiar, in response to my bill and markups, certain powerful organizations religious and otherwise want to call out some provisions of my bill. they would be financially burdensome. can you give me an opinion on whether or not these are sound
positions and these should not have the same baseline given to the military family. you have asked the question that i will have to respectfully dodge. i am not in the position of legislation any longer. i would carefully consider co-sponsorship. >> by the time we are done, we will have exceeded every minimal use standard. >> i thank the secretary and general. we appreciate you being with us today. one thing we have learned, out
of our this tragedy and problems, you are on top of it. you care. you care. we know that the investigation will be thorough, that you will do everything you can to restore confidence of this committee and the american people innthe operation of the arlington cemetery. we hope you will keep this committee informed of your progress. we look forward to hearing from you we wish you well and we thank you for caring. >> thank you, mr. chairman.